Once there was a man who lived in the forest. He was a renown arborist who specialized in growing bonsai trees. He kept his little trees deep in the forest and, in the forest surroundings, he worked very hard to make sure his bonsai were absolutely perfect before he sold them.
One day, over his breakfast, he heard on the radio that the conditions were ripe for a severe fire. In fact, the red flag warning was so severe that residents were cautioned to leave the forest now before the forest burst into flames. The man paid no heed to the warning and instead began his walk to his bonsai orchard.
Later that morning, a haze fell upon the forest floor. There was a smokey, sooty fragrance in the air, but the man remained determined over his tree. He refused to be distracted. Very deliberately, he picked up his small shears and began slowly pruning.
The smoke became more and more dense. The man’s eyes watered and his throat was hoarse. He began coughing, yet he refused to leave his tree and he steadily and carefully continued his pruning. “It sure is hard to see and my coughing definitely makes it difficult to cut properly, but I must continue my work,” he thought.
The wind gusted and with it came the flashover of flame that engulfed the forest. Still, the man refused to leave his tree.
The firefighters came and the blaze was contained. As they trampled through the burnt, charcoal forest, they discovered the remains of the bonsai man, his shears still between his finger bones.
Never let the demands of your work prevent you from seeing the obvious.